The Sword and the Dope is a musical retelling of the story of King Arthur, written by a dyslexic who can not read or write music but wrote the show as a bet/joke with a friend. It has now gone out for over 150 shows at three different venues prior to this run. The Sword and the Dope stars Stacey McClean and Stevi Ritchie sat down with Rewrite This Story to talk all about the show.
Can you both give a brief overview of your career and what your highlights have been?
Stacey: I was once a member of pop band S Club Juniors. Highlights from my time in the band were probably performing a Wembley and for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Also getting down to the final 24 and performing for Kylie in Dubai when I went to the judges’ houses for X Factor.
Stevi: I started performing at the age of 15 at my high school in Grease the musical and played Kenickie. I’ve always loved performing but got many knock backs. But 2014 I entered the X Factor and since then life has changed.
You’re both musicians, how has the transition to concert performances to musical theatre been?
Stacey: In ways it is very different. Put me on stage with a mic and a band and I can do it with my eyes closed, but theatre is a little more challenging for me. It’s a lot more intense, there is a lot of preparation involved and a lot more a stake.
Stevi: For me it’s been amazing and I’ve always loved musical theatre I trained at LSMT. Playing a prince in this show is great and taking me out of my comfort zone but I love it.
Can you explain what The Sword and the Dope is about?
Stacey: Sword and the Dope is a comedy musical with a politics edge. Think Monty Python, Black Adder and politics in a way you have never seen!
Stevi: A sideways telling of King Arthur with a modern day political twist. One review said British humour at it’s best with great musical numbers, for me that sums it up well.
What drew you to the production? Are your characters anything like you?
Stacey: I play Sir Lancelot, a Knight who is a huge fan of the Green Party, so nothing like me really as I’m not into politics in the slightest. My character reminds me of Hermione from Harry Potter, slightly irritating, bit of a know it all who no one wants to listen to. The script was what sold it for me initially, I laughed my head off when I first read it.
Stevi: I loved the script and especially the songs they are amazing. The character is similar to me it’s cheesy and he loves singing.
The Sword and the Dope is a retelling of the story of King Arthur, if you could retell any story which would you choose?
Stacey: Amy Winehouse, now that would be a fantastic role!
Stevi: I would retell the story of maybe Bruce Lee or Elvis Presley or Freddy Mercury.
Can you sum up the show in five words?
Stacey: Funny, ridiculous, offensive, rude and camp!
Stevi: Witty, camp,cheesy,Funny,eccentric.
Is there a play or musical you’ve seen recently that you loved?
Stacey: I have been to see Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at the Duke twice now I loved it so much.
Stevi: I love Les Mis and Grease.
Do you have any dream roles?
Stacey: Dream role would probably be Sophie in Mamma Mia, the lead vocal in Thriller and anything Disney!
Stevi: Yes, Thenadier in Les Mis or Kenickie in Grease.
Whats a fun fact people might not know about you?
Stacey: I was one belt away from a Black Belt in Taekwondo when I was 7 but I gave it up because I wanted to sing!
Stevi: Think everyone knows everything about me due to the press and being in the public eye.
What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?
Stacey: You have to have a thick skin in the industry otherwise you won’t survive. The amount of times you get knocked back is not necessarily a reflection of how good you are, and that’s something you have to be prepared for. I’m a firm believer that you get out what you put in.
Stevi: Just keep going and be you.
Thank you Stacey and Stevi for this interview. The Sword and The Dope is on at Waterloo East Theatre from Tuesday 5th September until Sunday 1st October.